American Magic backs Sail Newport
Published on August 26th, 2019
Supporters of Sail Newport gathered for “Celebrate Community Sailing,” a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization. Sail Newport is a community partner of the Rhode Island-based America’s Cup entry NYYC (New York Yacht Club) American Magic, with sailors and representatives of the team attending the event on August 22, 2019.
The professional sailing team was there to encourage the several hundred guests to support Sail Newport’s public access programs philanthropically. “We’re here because of all of you who have supported us, volunteered for regattas, rented a sailboat or sent your children through our programs,” said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport.
“You are the reason we are doing so well,” Read said, crediting the Sail Newport supporters for the organization’s success. “We believe that sailing improves the quality of life for all ages and should be accessible to all ages.”
NYYC American Magic Executive Director Terry Hutchinson joined Read onstage and said, “Sail Newport is important to the future of the sport of sailing.” Hutchinson emphasized that opportunities for people to participate in sailing in the future will come from public sailing centers.
Families that don’t have a connection to the sport need access to sailing, and Sailing Newport is providing those opportunities to newcomers and to highly skilled sailors who want to pursue the sport for amateur competition and go on to pro sailing.
Hutchinson has strong ties to Newport as the leader of the Rhode Island-based team and an avid sailor who competed here for many years leading up to his pro career. He is a two-time college sailor of the year, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and 16-time world champion. He sailed a J/24 and other one-design boats in Newport for many years.
The event was a fundraiser for Sail Newport’s public access sailing programs. Read asked for donations to benefit people of all ages who want to participate in the sport. Sail Newport starts programs for children at age 5 and also offers programs for students as they progress in all skill levels.
Read noted that Sail Newport provides many programs for free, including the Pell Elementary 4th Grade Program, a sailing program for the East Bay Met School and other programs and sailing opportunities for area high schools, colleges, community groups and civic organizations.
Also, low-cost programs are available for adults through low-cost boat rentals, adult learn-to-sail programs, weeknight racing and a new program for seniors 65 years of age and older.
The NYYC American Magic team donated a unique visit of its compound for a private tour, ride on the team vessel during a training session on Narragansett Bay and the opportunity to meet sailors, designers and crew. The opportunity was auctioned off to raise funds for the Sail Newport programs.
The NYYC American Magic team plans to leave Rhode Island in late fall for its training compound in Pensacola, Florida. The team is then scheduled to travel Europe for the America’s Cup World Series in 2020, which culminates with a Christmas regatta. The 36th America’s Cup Challenger Series will take place in January and February of 2021, with the America’s Cup match following in March of that year.
“Sail Newport is very proud to [bring] sailing to an incredibly diverse population. Especially for people who have no other possible connection or access to the water,” Read said.